Norman Lowell Smith

Norman Lowell Smith, age 88, of St. Ignace, Michigan, died at Mackinac Straits Health System in St. Ignace on August 10, 2022. He was born in St. Ignace on May 6, 1934, to Cecil Eugene and Anna Elinor (Trerice) Smith.

Norman grew up in the Gros Cap area and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1953. Post-graduation he moved to Florida and worked in the building trades with his brother-in-law, Harold Berson. He moved back to Eastern Upper Peninsula and spent a season sailing the Great Lakes aboard a freighter before he volunteered for the draft and entered the U.S. Army. After he completed his term in the army, he went on to work for the Michigan Department of Transportation and was able to travel around the Lower Peninsula.

In the early 60’s he met and fell in love with Nancy Gustafson, who he married on October 6, 1962, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Moran, Michigan. They moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan and then later made Portage, Michigan their home of 30 years. They raised their daughter and twin sons in a neighborhood full of friends and good times. Norman was a hands-on father and passed on his skills of carpentry and creativity to his children.

Norman loved being an active member of every community he lived in and it was important to volunteer and give back. While in Kalamazoo he was an usher for St. Catherine of Siena Church, and he was part of the American Legion #62 of St. Ignace as the Financial Officer for over twenty years.

Norman loved deer hunting; he would go to West Branch, Michigan, to hunt with his friends every season and tried to bag a “big one”. He also loved playing games on his computer, golfing, and woodworking. One of his favorite pass times was tinkering in his garage and he would get caught-up for hours listening to “the game” there. Another activity that he enjoyed was supporting the St. Ignace Saints High School Basketball teams; He attended many games and was the ultimate fan.

After Norman retired from MDOT in 1995 as the Supervisor of the Department of Materials and Inspection, he moved back to St. Ignace with Nancy in 1998 to be closer to family. He enjoyed adding onto his house, building outbuildings and visiting with friends and family. He adored his three grandchildren and loved spending time with them when they came to visit. As a grandfather he was willing to make fun of himself to bring a smile to his grandchildren’s faces.

Norman is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Nancy Smith; son, David (Dawn) Smith of Portage; daughter-in-law, Ann Yaroch of Kalamazoo, MI; grandchildren, Theodore Smith, Miette Smith, and Quinlan Smith; brother, Vernon (Pat) Smith of St. John’s, MI, sisters-in-law, Rosalie Smith of Florence WI, Bonnie Smith of Ithaca, MI, Deanna Sigvaldson of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Phyllis (Ed) Massey, Beatrice (John) Zak St. Ignace; brother-in-law, Richard Gustafson of Brevort, MI; and many nieces and nephews.

Norman was preceded in death by his son, Dennis Brian Smith; daughter, Denise Lynne Smith; parents, Anna and Cecil Smith, brothers, Marvin, Clifford, Elvin, Clayton, Kent, Howard, Arden, Lee; sisters, Dorothy Berson and Marion Fenlon; mother & father-in-law; Ethelyn and Theodore Gustafson.

There will be a celebration of life at a later date.

Final resting place will be at Brevort Cemetery.

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